Thinking Matters is a ministry encouraging New Zealand Christians to explore WHAT they believe and WHY they believe it, so they can engage culture and present the Christian faith both gracefully and persuasively.
Why Thinking Matters
Increasingly, Christianity, the truth of the Bible, and the values of the Gospel are at odds with 21st century culture. Every census we see Christianity and by extension its values continuing to decline – and we know why: the 2018 Faith and Belief in Aotearoa New Zealand survey shows the number one reason kiwis don’t choose religion is because they prefer a scientific and evidence-based approach.
This explains the exodus of young people from our churches. As cultural apologist Nancy Pearcey said: “In many cases, students are never exposed to competing ideas within their families, churches, or Christian schools, and as a result they go out into the world unprepared for the intellectual battles they are about to encounter.”
As a ministry, we at Thinking Matters empower Christians and Christian Leaders of Aotearoa New Zealand to know and confidently communicate the truth of the Christian Gospel and evidences for their Faith. Our vision is to see the Body of Christ equipped and able to defend faith, navigate culture, and reach people.
What We Cover
Apologetics is a subset of Christian Theology which focuses on the evidence for our faith. Far from being sorry for our faith, Apologetics is taken from the Greek word ‘Apologia’ which translates directly as ‘reason’ from 1 Peter 3:15 says “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason [apologia] for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” We present arguments for the many reasons we can believe in God, Jesus, His resurrection, and the historicity and reliability of the Bible as well as overcoming tough questions such as the problem of evil and suffering and doubts about God.
Having established the soundness of our belief, navigating culture is where we apply biblical principles to current issues such as the right to life, free speech, human worth and our design.
Finally, we do not want to keep this knowledge and tools to ourselves, we must fulfil the great commission by spreading the truth of the gospel through evangelism. We teach different conversational tactics and techniques for presenting these truths in a relational way while being gracious and respectful.
How We Do It
Confident Christianity Conference
Thinking Matters holds the Confident Christianity Conferences in five cities across Aotearoa New Zealand which have already equipped thousands of Christians with the tools they need to stand firm and be confident sharing their faith with their friends, colleagues, and family – particularly their children and even grandchildren.
Our short videos and online conferences have had thousands of views across YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Engaging online content is a vital resource to reaching young Christians and encouraging them that their experience with God has a rational, sound foundation. You can view our channel at www.youtube.com/thinkingmatters
We have partnered with Pathways College of Bible and Mission to create the Thinking Matters internship. This gives the opportunity for two young people with a passion for apologetics to intern with us. In this partnership, Pathways will provide the interns biblical foundations while Thinking Matters trains them in the practical outworking of ministry. Our interns will finish their year with a level five NZQA Accredited Diploma in Christian Studies. For more information or to apply, visit www.thinkingmatters.org.nz/intern
Thinking Matters Podcast
In our Thinking Matters Podcast, we interview some of the best apologists and culture thinkers from around New Zealand and the world. So far, we have tackled topics such as: is the God of the Old Testament a moral monster; the sacredness of Nature & Human Stewardship, miracles and our lives as an apologetic, and much more. We release these weekly, so make sure you search the Thinking Matters Podcast on YouTube or your favourite Podcast platform like Spotify or check out our podcast page at www.thinkingmatters.org.nz/podcast
Masters in Apologetics, Biola University Scholarship
The Thinking Matters Biola University full scholarship allows one person each year to take part in the Master of Arts in Apologetics or Science and Religion through the prestigious Biola University. Biola runs one of the best Masters of Apologetics programs in the world. Applications are now open for our mid-year intake. You can view the pre-requisites and apply at www.thinkingmatters.org.nz/biola-scholarship
We also have Regional Groups throughout New Zealand bringing apologetics and worldview training events each month. Check out our website at www.thinkingmatters.org.nz/groups to find a group near you.
We have worked hard to bring our five conferences and these other initiatives to you this year, and we have been blown away by the testimonies of those helped by the ministry. However, our team is still very small, consisting of just two full-time staff based in Tauranga, and a group of self-supported volunteers running events around the country.
Thinking Matters is a donor supported organisation dependent on like minded Christians like you who understand the importance of what we do, so today we want to invite you to financially partner with us. You will be a vital part of a truly unique mission here in New Zealand; solidifying the faith of Christians and defending the Gospel in the public space. As Paul says ‘I am put here for the defence of the Gospel.’ (Philippians 1:16) To become a regular supporter today go to thinkingmatters.org.nz/support.